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Colorado hospital wins Magnet honor for innovation


A top honor at the annual National Magnet Conference went to a hospital that uses a nurse hotline to provide phone-based care and education to spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury patients nationwide.

Craig Hospital of Englewood, Colo., received the 2012 Magnet Prize from the American Nurses Credentialing Center during last week’s Magnet conference in Los Angeles.

The prize, sponsored by Cerner Corporation, recognizes innovative nursing programs and practices in ANCC Magnet-designated organizations. It includes a $25,000 award for continuing, advancing or disseminating the winning innovation.

Craig Hospital’s Specialized Nurse Advice Line is a free service that provides patients, their families and their caregivers with evidence-based information and education about SCI and TBI. Since its inception in 2008, the phone line has received more than 10,000 calls and assisted more than 5,500 people, with 96% of surveyed users calling it a valuable service.

“This innovative resource blends comprehensive scope and outreach, essential advice to a vulnerable patient population, impressive outcomes, satisfied patients and national impact,” ANCC Executive Director Karen Drenkard, RN, PhD, NEA-BC, FAAN, said in a news release. “It’s a great example of the nurse-led care delivery improvements taking place in Magnet organizations every day.”

Nurses at Craig Hospital initiated the project to track SCI- and TBI-related calls, promote the availability of clinical experts and standardize the dissemination of medical information nationwide. They developed more than 150 evidence-based and protocol-driven triage guidelines to help quickly identify potential complications and make appropriate referrals.

Nurses have since expanded the service to include an online patient education library and collaborated with Family Services and other hospital departments to develop significant community resources that address the unique needs of patients living with SCI.

The result, according to the news release, is a comprehensive disease management and case management system that facilitates access to appropriate levels of care and empowers patients, families and caregivers to effectively manage these challenging conditions. It has helped SCI and TBI patients return to work sooner, reduced the use of attendant care and dropped Craig’s number of re-hospitalization days below the national average.

“We are especially proud to provide a resource to patients in rural and underserved areas,” said Lisa Shelton, RN, MSN, CRRN, Magnet program and special projects coordinator for Craig Hospital. “Nearly three-quarters of our calls come from outside Colorado, where we are not geographically present to meet patients’ needs.

“Because our RNs are licensed in all 50 states, we are able to address these needs within our scope of practice and don’t have to turn patients away.”


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